76 Citations (Scopus)


Integrated assessment is an approach that seeks to involve all disciplines in policy-relevant assessment. The process aims to encompass environmental science, technology and policy problems. The aim is to establish an overview of the environmental issue in question that attempts to avoid the mistakes of the past associated with narrow, one-sided or unidimensional approaches. A number of methods are available for such assessments. However, they are also subject to a number of limitations, difficulties and dilemmas. Integrated methods are inherently complicated and the tradition is that only experts are involved. New more inclusionary procedures have to be devised in order to involve all stakeholders. They have to be involved in the framing of the issue and in the value judgements associated with the approach. The dilemmas cannot be solved by integrated approaches, but they can be mitigated via proper identification, analysis and evaluation of the gains and losses involved. In structuring the analysis the existence of ignorance has to be accounted for and communicated to the managers and the political decision makers. The ignorance/uncertainty aspects can be partially accommodated for via an intensification of feasible monitoring and research so as to minimise the risks of unpleasant surprises.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-65
Number of pages9
JournalRegional Environmental Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Cite this